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Sierra Rutile Ltd staff newsletter 3

  • Text
  • Rutile
  • Mining
  • Rehabilitation
  • Maintenance
  • April
  • Mocharles
  • Programme
  • Clearing
  • Magay
  • Essential
  • Www.ftinsight.net
A staff newsletter produced for our client Sierra Rutile Ltd

Sierra Rutile Ltd staff newsletter

MOCHARLES BACK ON ITS FEET, THANKS TO SRL APRIL 2013 SIERRA RUTILE INTERNAL NEWS APRIL 2013 75 year-old Fatmata Magay, an elderly resident of Mocharles village was known for her cheerfulness and the courage with which she bore her blindness. But the terrible fire, that devastated Mocharles in March and left her homeless, almost destroyed her indomitable spirit. “I lost everything I owned. All I had left were the clothes I had on,” she explains. “In my despair I wished that the fire had taken me as well.” Today Mrs Magay has rediscovered her optimism, helped in part by the prompt response of Sierra Rutile’s staff to an email appeal from EHS manager, Ansu Jabati, that provided Le21,800,020, rice, clothes and building materials for the 650 people of Mocharles. Speaking on behalf of the village, Sorba Lamin, a member of the Committee on World Food Security, said the money could have torn the village apart; instead it has made them stronger. “We knew that quarrelling over the money could destroy our community, so we handed it over to Rita Savage, chairwoman for Bonthe District Council, to buy zinc for our houses. We sat down as a community and agreed that every house would get 2 bundles of zinc, and we have all come together to work on the rebuilding of our village.” Mocharles also recently received seed rice from Sierra Rutile, as well as a further Le1,700,000 from African Lion Agriculture, SRL’s sister company, for uniforms and school books. Mrs Magay smiles as she thanks SRL’s staff for their kindness: “This village has been transformed for the better,” she says. “We used to sleep under thatched roofs, and now we sleep under zinc. Sierra Rutile is our redeemer. We hope the company stays and succeeds.” TAKING ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY MESSAGE FROM ANDY TAYLOR, HEAD OF OPERATIONS Mining and minerals are essential to our future development, yet it is an inescapable fact that the very act of extracting the minerals the world needs to sustain its economic and social development has a damaging impact on the environment. Responsible mining companies recognise this and abide by sustainable development principles, ensuring that after mining, the condition of the land is restored to a value similar to before its disturbance. The mining processes Sierra Rutile uses have a relatively limited impact on the environment, leaving no large-scale mining pits or toxic and contaminated land. However, the dredge ponds and areas of sandy tailings do adversely impact the land and the communities that depend on it. Under the mine’s previous owners, the rehabilitation of disturbed land had not matched the rate of disturbance, and significant tracts of land remained unusable. Compounding the situation was the 10 year hiatus in land rehabilitation caused by the civil war. Taking responsibility for this legacy disturbed land was a natural outcome of Sierra Rutile’s respect for people and the environment; and in 2011, Sierra Rutile began the process of returning all mining-affected land in its area of operations, to a useable state. We gave ourselves six years to deliver on this tremendous undertaking, and we are already ahead of schedule, having rehabilitated 141.1 hectares last year – an area equivalent to around 175 football pitches. 21-DAY SHUT-DOWN, OPEN IN 20 The major 21-day shut-down last month, for the repair and maintenance of the floating plants, was completed one day early with no major safety incidents thanks to a magnificent team effort from every department at the mine site, for which everyone received a 50kg bag of rice. The shut-down was necessary in order to change the worn-out top tumbler – the octagonal rotating end at the top of the bucket chain which tips the dredge buckets into the discharge chute. Made from manganese steel, the top tumbler weighs 30 tonnes and takes 6-8 months to make. This is only the second time in the dredge's lifetime, it has been changed. The bottom tumbler was also removed, refurbished and reinstalled. The ends of the primary scrubber (where all the oversize rocks are removed from the ore) had never before been opened and the maintenance team took the opportunity to open them, clean them and effect some temporary repairs. At the same time the Lanti Dry Mining Operation was shut down for two weeks to correct teething problems. This involved reconfiguring the oversize conveyor, re-casting the foundations of the tailings pumps, fixing listing pontoons on the process water system and carrying out some electrical work. The dry mining operation is now fully commissioned and achieving expected production levels. Ensuring that the land rehabilitation is consistent with the expectations and wishes of the local community; and agreed with landowners and regulatory agencies has been a major plank of the process. Sierra Rutile has also drawn extensively on the expertise of forestry, horticulture and land rehabilitation specialists to ensure that we meet national and international standards. The multi-pronged approach to restoring mined-out land, adopted by the EHS team, is simple but effective. It includes grass planting, to reduce soil erosion and add organic matter to sand tailings; spreading top soil, so that the seed bank of local plants contained within the top soil germinates and takes root during the rainy season; and planting trees with economic potential such as acacia, neem, cashew and coconut. A further strategy has been to retain some of the dredge lakes in consultation with the community and stock them with fish, providing much-needed protein to rural households. The company’s aquaculture project stocked 147,247 tilapia and cat fish into the lakes in 2012, and this year we are trialling local freshwater fish species such as cutlass, electric and killi. Land rehabilitation is not an overnight process, and it can be difficult to look at a stretch of sand tailings and imagine that it can ever be productive. The shady cashew plantation at Bamba-Bellebu is proof that it can. Planted before the war, it suffered neglect, was exploited as a source of firewood, and did not have the advantage of today’s sophisticated agricultural techniques. But today its tall cashew trees bear abundant fruit, which is harvested enthusiastically by local people and is testament to what our land rehabilitation programme can achieve. SAFETY SCORE BOARD AS AT 5th May 2013 FREE DAYS 162 TARGET 300 PREVIOUS LOSS TIME INJURY (LTI) RECORD 205 FATAL INCIDENT FREE DAYS 1742

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Rutile Mining Rehabilitation Maintenance April Mocharles Programme Clearing Magay Essential www.ftinsight.net